Ether Price Poised for Supply 'Shock' as ETFs May Attract $4B Inflows in Five Months, K33 Research Says

ETH will start outperforming bitcoin following the ETF launch after almost two and a half years of underperformance, the report said.

AccessTimeIconJun 4, 2024 at 6:45 p.m. UTC
  • U.S. spot ETFs could accumulate around 1 million ETH in five months based on the size of similar ETH products globally and CME futures open interest relative to bitcoin, K33 Research said
  • The omission of staking will not negatively impact the inflows to the ETFs, the report said.

Ethereum-based exchange-traded funds (ETF) that can directly hold ether (ETH) are soon arriving in the U.S. and could attract $4 billion of inflows in the first five months, crypto analytics firm K33 Research said in a report.

The company based its forecast by comparing the assets under management in existing ETH-based exchange-traded products around the globe to similar bitcoin (BTC) products and the amount of open interest (OI) in futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the go-to marketplace for institutional investors.

Ether's OI on CME currently stands at 23% of the size of BTC futures, but it has seen an average share of 35% of BTC futures since ETH futures started trading on CME in 2021, indicating significant institutional demand for ETH in the U.S., per K33.

Ether ETPs and CME futures open interest compared to bitcoin products (K33 Research)
Ether ETPs and CME futures open interest compared to bitcoin products (K33 Research)

Applying these ratios to the nearly $14 billion inflows so far into the spot BTC ETFs, K33 puts the estimated ETH ETF inflows between $3 billion and $4.8 billion within the first five months. This estimate is slightly higher than JPMorgan's $3 billion forecast for this year.

Ether ETF inflow forecasts (K33 Research)
Ether ETF inflow forecasts (K33 Research)

Based on current prices, this would equal 800,000 to 1.26 million of ETH accumulated in the ETFs, or roughly 0.7%-1.05% of the total supply of tokens, creating a supply crunch for the asset, according to the report. Unlike futures-based products, the issuers of spot ETFs will need to buy tokens in the spot market as investors buy ETF shares.

"As seen in BTC, this monumental supply absorption shock should lead to price appreciation in ETH," said Vetle Lunde, senior analyst at K33 Research.

Bitcoin, after an initial correction in late January, rallied nearly 60% to record highs following the introduction of U.S. spot ETFs. K33 analysts predicted that with the start of ether ETFs, the price of ETH would start outperforming BTC after almost two and a half years of the ETH-BTC pair's downtrend.

Last month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved key filings for spot ETH ETFs in a move that surprised most market participants. This move paved the way for greenlighting the funds to trade in the U.S. After working through the necessary documentation, market observers expect the ETFs to start trading as soon as late June or early July, the K33 report said.

Notably, applicants deleted the parts of their filings that would have allowed staking the assets in the fund, likely to appease the regulator.

K33 said that the omission of staking would not negatively impact inflows to the ETFs, contradicting JPMorgan's stance, as 99% of assets under management in Canadian ETH ETFs and 98% of European products are held in funds without staking.

Edited by Aoyon Ashraf.


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Krisztian  Sandor

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.